The Inner Drive of Leaders 

I cannot tell you how many people I meet who want to be free of people telling them what to do. However, when they finally achieve that freedom through leadership, they become lost and ineffective. The dichotomy of leadership is that there really is no one telling you what to do, which is great. And, then again, there is no one telling you what to do… Which means it is all about you. It all comes down to your personal motivation, your inner drive as a leader. 

How do you stoke the fires of personal motivation? How do you rev up your inner drive? Channeling your time and talents in the right areas are key to achieving the success you know is possible as a strong, effective leader.   

5 Ways to Cultivate Personal Motivation

1. Core Values.  

If you don’t already have a clear set of core values for yourself, take some time to develop them. 

2. Goals.  

Set clear and achievable goals for yourself that are both inspirational and aspirational. 

3. Focus.  

Create a system to focus on the right activities to achieve your goals. The skills of self-discipline and self-accountability are key. 

4. Lifelong Learning.  

Inner drive comes from the diligence to constantly learn and grow new skills and behaviors. These allow you to adapt to new levels of expectations and performance, and avoid daily distractions

5. Alignment.

Take time every single day to get out of the tactics of doing and reflect. Listen to your inner voice and ensure your actions are in alignment with your goals and core values. 

“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” 
– Roslyn Carter 

To be a leader for others, it starts with being a leader for you first. This is not easy work, and yet has great impact. To maintain your focus and resiliency as a leader, add this daily exercise to stay committed once you set your core values and goals: 

  • Define what you are doing that day to achieve your goal(s). 
  • Ask yourself if these are the right actions which support your goal(s)? 
  • Assess what may need to shift or change. 
  • Stay open to new learning, even when you don’t want to. 

In leadership, nurturing your inner drive and fueling personal motivation is a cornerstone of impactful leadership. By aligning core values, setting inspiring goals, staying focused, committing to continuous learning, and reflecting daily, leaders pave the path for success and resilience in their journey.